SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

SRH teaching staff celebrates Oscar win for ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

SRH lecturer and actor Joe Weintraub shares his experience on set for the historic film.

Meet Joe Weintraub. He's an instructor of screenwriting, film analysis, history and theory as part of our bachelor and master film study programmes at the SRH School of Popular Arts and the SRH School of Design and Communication. 

He's also an actor who played the part of German General Hauptmann Geyer in the hugely successful film All Quiet on the Western Front, the most successful German film at the Oscars to date, having won four this year including 'Best International Feature Film'. 

Living primarily in Prague, he's also teaching in Berlin as part of his hybrid teaching schedule. Prague was actually the location where All Quiet was filmed, which took place at the famous Barrandov film studios (the largest in the country), in the Czech countryside as well as on a historic train on the Franz Joseph railway (you can see him in the train scenes when the Germans try to form an armistice). 

We were curious about his experience and asked him what it was really like on set for the historical film: "It was really fun, although it was a challenging shoot with long hours. But that meant we got a lot of down-time, which was great for me to get to know the other actors. 

Edward Berger is a very meticulous director. It's very important to him that he gets the shot he wants. He knew what he was doing and had a clear vision. He also had a clear idea of who Hauptmann Geyer is, but also gave me the freedom to do what I felt was right with the character. He really cared like that. He knew everybody's name on set.”

For budding filmmakers and enthusiasts looking to break into the industry, Joe gave us some great advice to share: "When you are pitching, know who you are and what you want to do. Be confident to say, 'I am a director' and 'I am a filmmaker’. 

Make a genre film, and get it out there. Get it seen. It doesn't have to be perfect. Mistakes are good. It might not be spectacular when you first start writing, but that's okay. They are looking for something great with mistakes.

I don't believe in luck. I believe in being ready at the right time. Be ready for that opportunity when it comes, and don't be afraid to sell yourself."

Joe Weintraub

External lecturer for Film & Screenwriting